Posted by News Express | 27 April 2013 | 3,099 times
The United States Government has pledged to step up support for Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) towards ensuring the success of the country’s 2015 general election.
The pledge was made by the American envoy to Nigeria, Ambassador Terence P. McCulley, when he visited INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, OFR, at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday.
Ambassador McCulley said his home country would continue its collaboration with INEC to promote democracy in Nigeria, and would be glad to offer whatever additional assistance is necessary for deepening the electoral process.
Professor Jega told the envoy that INEC hopes for early amendment of legal provisions deemed to constrain the aspiration for flawless elections in the country. He said the Commission came away with this optimism from the Retreat it held with relevant Senate and House of Representative committees on April 16 and 17 in Sokoto.
The INEC Chairman also said the Commission would intensify its engagement with political parties between now and 2015 to encourage internal party democracy in accordance with provisions of the law. Responding to a question by Ambassador McCulley whether INEC has a set standard for what constitutes internal democracy in political parties, Professor Jega said: “INEC has begun quarterly meetings with registered political parties intended to build mutual confidence and promote mutual understanding. It is our hope that through series of engagements between now and 2015, we can be emphatic about the provisions of the law on internal party democracy.”
He expressed appreciation for the assistance being provided by the United States Government, especially through the USAID which periodically provides BRIDGE training for INEC staff and presently offers technical support for on-going efforts by the Commission to conduct delimitation of constituencies.
Ambassador McCulley assured that the support would continue, and would be upscaled as necessary.
•Photo: Ambassador Terence P. McCulley and Professor Attahiru Jega during the envoy’s visit to INEC Headquarters yesterday in Abuja.
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